What would happen if a billionaire and an auto mechanic ended up in the same hospital room? Why they’d become best friends and travel the world together, of course. The Bucket List is a great movie because of Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson-not the fairly clichéd idea of the Make A Wish Foundation. This is really a two man show, with a bit of great work by Sean Hayes as the billionaire’s long suffering personal assistant.
Morgan Freeman’s character wanted to be a history professor, so he knows a lot of fairly useless information. One of the running gags in the show is that both of the dying men seem to know all the answers to every question ever asked on Jeopardy. So as they write their Bucket List, a fairly short list since they only have six months or so to live, a number of historically significant places find a spot.
This is a great movie for a number of the items on the list which are not achieved through the use of the Billionaires vast wealth, but by their friendship and their effect on each others lives. There is also a sort of My Name Is Earl feeling to their taking out the list and marking items off.
There is something really great about a Bucket List that is only one legal yellow pad page long. In this age when books about 1001 Everything To Do Before You Die-it’s nice to see something like, oh, eighteen things to do before you die. Some of the things are just money things-I’d need the help of a billionaire to go to the Himalayas or the Taj Mahal myself. But the really important items on the list happen in a magical kind of way. Items like Kiss The Most Beautiful Girl in the World and Laugh Until You Cry happen in unexpected ways.
One of my favorite funny bits was Morgan Freeman saying that when he was young he had silly goals like being the First Black President-which, so far as I remember, he was in Deep Impact. There may have been a similar gag for Jack Nicholson, but if there was, I missed it.
It should come as no surprise that the story of two men dying with cancer does not have a riding off into the sunset kind of ending. But it does have a perfect ending.
The Bucket List
1. Witness something truly majestic
2. Help a complete stranger for a common good
3. Laugh till I cry
4. Drive a Shelby Mustang
5. Kiss the most beautiful girl in the world
6. Get a tattoo
8. Visit Stonehenge
9. Spend a week at the Louvre
10. See Rome
11. Dinner at La Cherie d’Or
12. See the Pyramids
13. Get back in touch (previously “Hunt the big cat”)
14. Visit Taj Mahal, India
15. Hong Kong
16. Victoria Falls
18. Ride the Great Wall of China
I like this Bucket List, and it is somewhat comforting that I have already done three of them, maybe four. And who knows, maybe I’ll find myself in a hospital room with a billionaire one day.